It was a big summer for Harry Potter. The seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, as was the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After reading the first and seeing the second, I was reminded of a hoax I've had sitting on my hard drive for a few years, just waiting to be debunked.
It's entitled "Magic Vs Jesus" and it claims that not only is are the Harry Potter books inherently Satantic, they are also causing a mass conversion to Satanism among today's youth. And it's got the quotes to back them up.
Unfortunately for the e-mail's author, the quotes it so feverishly believes in were taken from a fictional article in the satirical webzine The Onion.
Here's the original e-mail:
Subject: Fw: Magic Vs Jesus
"Jesus died because He was weak and stupid"; this is a quote from
6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC, after reading the HARRY POTTER BOOKS!
"Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty,"
The following is an email sent for the American Family Association:
This is the most evil thing I have laid my eyes on in 10 years ... and no
one seems to understand its threat. The Harry Potter books are THE
NUMBER ONE selling children's books in the nation today. Just look at any Barnes
& Noble or Waldenbooks storefront. Go to Amazon.com and read the reviews.
Hear the touting by educators and even Christian teachers about how "It's
great to see the youth so eagerly embracing the reading experience!"
Harry Potter is the creation of a former UK English teacher who promotes
witchcraft and Satanism. Harry is a 13-year-old 'wizard.' Her creation
openly blasphemes Jesus and God and promotes sorcery, seeking revenge upon
anyone who upsets them by giving you examples (even the sources with
authors and titles) of spells, rituals, and demonic powers. I think the
problem is that parents have not reviewed the material. The name seems
harmless enough... Harry Potter. But that is where it all ends. Let me
give you a few quotes from some of the influenced readers themselves:
"The Harry Potter books are cool, 'cause they teach you all about magic land
how you can use it to control people and get revenge on your enemies" said
Hartland, WI, 10 year old Craig Howell, a recent convert to the New Satanic Order Of The Black Circle. "I want to learn the Cruciatus Curse, to make my muggle science teacher suffer for giving me a D." (A 'muggle' is an unbeliever in magic.) And here is dear Ashley, a 9 year old, the typical average age reader of Harry Potter: "I used to believe in what they taught us at
Sunday School," said Ashley, conjuring up an ancient spell to summon
Cerebus, the three-headed hound of hell. "But the Harry Potter books
showed me that magic is real, something I can learn and use right now, and that
the Bible is nothing but boring lies."
Here is a quote from a high priest of Satanism: "Harry is an absolute
godsend to our cause," said High Priest Egan of the First Church Of Satan
in Salem, MA, "An organization like ours thrives on new blood, no pun
intended, and we've had more applicants than we can handle lately. And, of
course, practically all of them are virgins, which is gravy." (Since 1995,
open applicants to Satan worship have increased from around 100,000 to
now... 20 MILLION children and young adults!) I think I can offer you an
explanation of why this is happening. Children have been bombarded with
action, adventure, thrills, and scares to the point Hollywood can produce
nothing new to give them the next 'high.' Parents have neglected to see
what their children are reading and doing, and simply seem satisfied that
'Little Johnny is interested in reading.'
AND, Educators and the NEA are PUSHING this with NO WARNING as to the effects or the contents. I will leave you with something to let you make up your own mind, a quote from the author herself, J. K. Rowling, describing the objections of Christian reviewers to her writings:
"I think it's absolute rubbish to protest children's books on the grounds that they are luring children to Satan,"Rowling told a London Times reporter in a July 17 Interview.
"People should be praising them for that! These books guide children to an understanding that the weak, idiotic Son of God is a living hoax who will be humiliated when the rain of fire comes... while we, his faithful servants, laugh and cavort in victory."
My hope is that you will see fit to become involved in getting the word
out about this garbage. Please FWD to every pastor, teacher, and parent you
know. This author has now published FOUR BOOKS in less than 2 years of
this encyclopedia of Satanism' and is surely going to write more. I also ask
all Christians to please pray for this lost woman's soul. Pray also for
the Holy Spirit to work in the young minds of those who are reading this
garbage that they may be delivered from its harm. Lastly, pray for all
parents to grow closer to their children, and that a bond of sharing
thoughts and spiritual intimacy will grow between them.
"Remember that the victory is not promised to the strong who win the battle, nor to the swift who win the race, but to the true and faithful who claim God's grace."
Numbers 23:23: "No curse can touch Jacob; no sorcery has any power against
Israel. For now it will be said of Jacob, 'What wonders God has done for
Israel!' " The believer in Christ is "grafted in" to the Jewish family.
We are "adopted sons and daughters." As followers of Christ we have the
same protection against sorcery and evil promised to Israel. This is
afforded us by the precious, compensatory blood of the Lord Jesus Christ,
The original Onion article that inspired all of this can be found in the Internet Archive. It's a funny read, but it inspired an additional chuckle from me when I recognized the dateline as "Lock Haven, Pa."; my wife and I graduated from Lock Haven University.
But I digress. Reading through the original Onion piece, you'll quickly see that the quotes were lifted directly from the article. According to Snopes.com, quotes from this article originally appeared in an opinion piece on WorldNetDaily damning Harry Potter, but were exorcised form the column when the satirical nature of The Onion article became apparent.
At some point the email itself morphed, and claimed to have originated from the American Family Association. This is not, in and of itself, hard to believe, given the conservative Christian nature of the AFA, but in a news article on their web site the group debunks that it originated with them.
- Snopes.com: Harry Potter: Snopes debunking of the email.
- Urban Legend Zeitgeist: Harry Potter Hocus Pocus: A brief debunking of the same email.
- About.com: Harry Potter and the Chain of Fools: About.com's extensive debunking of the e-mail, along with commentary on fundementalist Christianity's very really claims of Satanism in works of fantasy.
- American Family Association: Harry Potter hoax making Internet rounds: The AFA debunks the claim this e-mail originated with them